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EMPLOYMENT LAW GUIDE: - page 74 / 134





74 / 134

Use of an appropriate process is essential whenever an employer must terminate an

individual’s employment. While the process may vary according to circumstances, general

considerations will apply. Planning is essential. Anticipate compensation issues such as last

paycheck, payment of bonuses, commissions, vacation and personal days, and whether to

provide severance. An employee terminated involuntarily must be paid in full as of the date

of termination, including payment for accrued vacation and commissions owed. Employees

who resign need be paid only at the next regular pay period. See Part I, Section 1.4(J).

Written notice minimizes misinterpretation and should make clear that the decision is non-


Employees should be terminated in a face-to-face meeting, and managers should

clearly understand what should and should not be said during the meeting (e.g., avoid

discriminating or abusive remarks). The termination meeting should take place in a private

setting, for example, the office of the employee’s manager or human resource representative.

Employers should have two people present at the termination meeting, which provides one

extra witness but does not make the employee feel outnumbered. There should be a principal

spokesperson, someone with authority, who can explain to the employee that the termination

is legitimate and can respond appropriately to the employee’s questions and concerns.

Additionally, the spokesperson should have a working knowledge of the facts leading to the

decision to terminate and should be prepared to respond to excuses or comments made by the


The significant reasons for the decision to terminate should be given to the employee

at this time. Honesty about the reason is critical. Employers should resist the urge to spare

the employee’s feelings and should cite the most forceful reasons for the discharge, because


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